Pleats on shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by sjimison, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. sjimison

    sjimison Member

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    Aug 6, 2003
    I've finally taken to paying attention to the care of my clothes which means I've been ironing my own shirts. I noticed that some of my button-ups have no pleats, some have box pleats and I have one shirt with side pleats. Can someone provide an explanation as to how the pleats affect the way the shirt hangs, how it looks, and what is considered fashionable vs. conservative. Thanks for the good advice.

  2. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    Jul 28, 2003
    i see it this way:

    no pleat is fashionable.
    shoulder pleats are more dressy.
    box pleat (ugh) is for sporty or button down collar shirts.

    i prefer a flat back without pleats on all my shirts, but it's very much a matter of preference and you should just go with what looks best to you. the different pleats don't really make a difference in fit, in my experience, though they supposedly give you more room in the back.

  3. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    Sep 19, 2003
    There are several different back styles:
    box pleat
    inverted pleat
    side pleats
    side gathering
    continuous gathering
    and of course, the plain back

    Pleatig depends more with one's preference than anything.  As mentioned, side pleats are more formal, while box pleats are used more on shirts with button-down collars.  Side gathering is gathering of the fabric instead of actual pleating.  Continuous gathering consists of small gathers over the length of the seam where the yoke and back meet.  The inverted pleat is a pleat in which the pleats open toward the center, I suppose an inside-out box pleat.

  4. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Most shirts sold in the United States have box pleats. Most higher-end shirts have the side (or shoulder) pleats. Some shirts (mostly very high-end Neapolitan shirts) have little micropleats all across the yoke. The pleats are supposed to give you more freedom of movement in the shoulders, and maybe they do. However, I've never noticed that they make that much difference. I'd argue that shoulder pleats are more stylish than box pleats and that the micropleats are just plain quirky. I'd agree with matadorpoeta that no pleats is more fashionable/trendy than the other options.

    <begin unsolicited advice>
    Keep ironing your own shirts. The less you send them to the cleaners, the longer they'll last.
    <end unsolicited advice>

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